Hi! I'm Holly Brimhall, a newborn photographer in Gilbert, AZ. I am the mother of 4 and a lover of ALL things baby. This blog is where I share the life of my family and favorite pictures of my newborn photography sessions.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Searching for advice....

from someone with more wisdom than me.

I have a child who LOVES to talk. Well, I guess I have a few of those. But one comes home from school and just lets it all out...telling me about EVERYTHING that went wrong with her day. Telling me about how this person opened a pencil sharpener by her desk, made a mess, and blamed it on her, about that person who told her she's not funny, about how somebody stepped on her toe, and how her hair came undone at recess. Every day she walks in the door and I just KNOW it's coming. Her tongue starts flying and it's tattling, complaining, and whining all rolled up into one big ball of grumpiness. It's making me crazy!

So today I decided to tell her that she has to tell me 5 GREAT things about today BEFORE she could tell me all of the bad. She followed me around huffing and getting frustrated, unable to think of 5 great things, just wanting to complain about every little thing that went wrong today. As she followed me around the kitchen, I got to thinking...

Is that wise of me? To make her think about and tell me the great things about her day? Or will I just make her feel like she can't tell me things that she wants to because she may think that I just don't want to hear it? I don't know. I WANT to know the details of my children's lives. I want them to open up and share with me...but at the same time don't want to encourage the never-ending tattling. I'm not sure that I have the right answer yet.


Devry 6:20 AM  

let me just tell you, i have 2 girls so i know EXACTLY what you're talking about. my brain needs a vacay after the girls come home. i think thats a great idea. we do the 3 highs 3 lows at dinner sometimes. and believe me, i still hear all about other peoples lives, problems, etc from them. :) good luck!

ellen 6:29 AM  

What if she has to tell you FIVE great things and then TWO not-so-great things. You want her to keep talking, especially when she's a teenager. :)

NattybyDesign 7:01 AM  

We struggle with this with Madeleine too. Maybe its the age?

nella 7:49 AM  

My daughter is in 2nd grade and we've had this going on at our house all year long. It is crazy how much drama she shares about what is happening at school! Sometimes I've had a hard time keeping up.

One piece of advice I gave her is to think about what is happening at school and whether or not the "bad stuff" is really a "deal-breaker" in a friendship or if the other person is just having a bad moment. That has seemed to help her put things into perspective and though there is still drama she shares, she moves on much more quickly now.

Sara 8:25 AM  

Hmm... Well, I think it is amazing that she wants to share her heart with you, and it sounds like she saves it up all day for when she can be with you, her favorite, special person, to share it with :) I really think this is such a special blessing(and I know you do too ;) and one that you will cherish as she grows and moves through her teen years. It will be the doorway of influence for you if you keep it open. It also sounds like she just needs to unload her feelings and all that she has kept inside all day before moving on, and maybe needs your help to process everything happening. So... Maybe as you talk about the things that have happened in her day you can insert some positive perspective or different ways of looking at things, and when she is finished you can list three or five great things. It may be easier for her to see the positive once she gets the negative off her chest!
Giid luck with your precious girl - it is such an amazing journey, and passes by so very quickly!
Sara :)

Laurie 9:46 AM  

I happen to have a daughter who is quite the complainer as well. I always remind her to "bring something positive into the room" No one wants to be on the other end of constant complaining. Its a downer. I find my daughter tends to wallow in misery sometimes so it is important for me to remind her to walk on the sunny side of the street. I am always "all ears" but I don't want to foster this idea that life always stinks and you should walk around complaining about everything.

Mindy 10:33 AM  

i think you are on the right track. as a mother to three balls of estrogen, i get it non-stop, especially with my second grader. i stop her and have her tell me positives in between the negatives. i have watched myself though too, how much do i focus on the drama and have tried to be more positive in my report of the day.
you know the scripture from the bom.. you can't fully appreciate the good unless you've experienced the bad.

Positively Creative! 10:35 AM  

I have one of these also:) You need to use this to teach your kids..like thru a FHE...then give them journals and explain that they can use these to write down thier thoughts good or bad. Yes good to talk to eachother but if you can teach them to be positive to look at life thru positive ways instead of negative they will be happier. Also even if they tell you negative things alot..its our job to bring it to the positive..I think to show by example and not just saying speaks louder.....I think Holly you will have no problem with this...you are always so positive:) Good luck girl love you!

Nettie 1:34 PM  

Let her tell you the things she wants to say, but then help her find the good things about a few of THOSE situations....

Also, ask her everyday to tell you what she did that improved someone elses day.

Shannon 1:43 PM  

tell her your wiling to listen to her complaints, but for every complaint she needs to think of a solution?? and maybe eventually she will automatically think of a solution before even complaining....now if only i could retrain myself :)...

zanone5 4:46 PM  

I love Shannon's advice how to fix it but at the same time I think I would also want a positive in between... but she needs to learn how to deal with it at school so it's not bothering her when she gets home.. I work at a school it's hard to keep up with school drama when you try to fix it it's over and they are on to something else;)

Sarah 7:22 PM  

I'm so glad you posted this. I was feeling as though we were the only ones with this! I've struggled so much trying to find the right answer, I still don't know!

There's such a fine line it seems, but I know when I'm upset all I want to do is vent. I let her vent and then we chat. But it's hard to hear "everyone's mean to me, all the time!" so crazy often! Teaching her to refocus is very hard - augh! I'm enjoying reading through the comments. Thank you for your post!

Lamchops 4:41 PM  

It is so hard to know just how to figure these little smarties out. I have a thing that we try to do each evening at dinner as a family. We each take a turn telling what our favorite part of our day was. Sometimes it is hard for all of us to do. but in the end we usually end up laughing at one of the responses. I have to say though I have a son that does not always tell the "bad" to us & I would say, be grateful she wants to tell YOU & not shut you out. After all she is a SHE right. Don't all us girls do that too? Good luck dealing. It will get better I am sure.

Joanne Fowler 10:30 AM  

From different posts you've commented on this about, it sounds like she is still searching for a special friend at school. Maybe she doesn't have anyone else to talk to about things? I think it's great that she likes to talk to her mommy. Take it slow. Since you know it's coming, set aside time when she comes home. Get a pad of paper and let her list the issues or even just the top 5 big things. Write them down as she vents and listen patiently. Then have a chat about some solutions or better ways to handle the listed things so it doesn't ruin her day the next time it happens. She'll eventually learn how to manage her emotions and learn to love others even when they make her frustrated. Then take some time to talk about all the good things of the day. Name some of your own, even as silly as you didn't spill the milk when you went to pour it. When she gets used to the idea that she'll have some girl chat time when she comes home and her emotions are a little more manageable, you can start asking for the good things first and eventually she'll change her perspective on the life around her.

I know you don't know me, I'm one of your blog stalkers. lol I really appreciate coming to your blog and reading about your family. You are a sweet, caring mom and I appreciate that you are working hard to raise your children to be loving and kind. It's a nice change from what the media throws at us about families! Thank you for being an inspiration to other moms! I am often reminded to be more patient with my kids and more loving towards them after reading your blog. THANKS! :)

Kim 8:36 AM  

Sounds like you have received some awesome advice here.....maybe you could have her keep a journal of her negative nelly moments. She can still share them with you, but she can write them too...to get them out of her system so she can see the wonderful things too.

Such a hard time to be a mommy when you're little one gets so frustrated. Lots of TLC to sweet little S! :)


BLY and LOU 10:56 AM  

you have gotten so much advice... I have learned in my own life that it is better to focus on the positive than the negative and it is important to teach our children to be able to do that too. If she can learn to see more positive than negative, she will be able to have so much joy and peace in her life! It takes time to learn to think and see things differently but it is worth the effort.

princessteach 8:30 AM  

I have a child just like yours. He is now 21 and he still shares his day with me. All the suggestions are great. I just let my son tell me about his day, good and bad. We just talked. But, the best part, because, I didn't limit our conversations - he still talked to me in high school about everything, good and bad. We discussed all those things. High school is the time that I needed to be there the most for him.

I still remember driving him to school and we would talk. I would look at the other parents and they would be looking straight ahead and so would their child. I felt so bad for them.

At 21, almost 22, when he comes home from school or work - he still talks and tells me everything. If I am asleep and he has to talk to me, he wakes me up, jumps on my bed and talks. I love it and wouldn't trade it for anything. I am not his best friend, but I am a mom that treasures every minute with him.

Enjoy it.

Ali 12:26 PM  

Yep, that's a tough one. You don't want to turn her off to talking to you. As she tells you the things that have happened over the course of the day, you could teach her how to examine the situation and determine how "big" of a deal it really is/was by assigning a number/point. Reverse the point system tho - usually 10 would be for most dramatic/awful. But switch it up. Make 1 the huge heart break, house on fire lose everything major drama. Make 10 the really awesome things that are just so awesome you want to sing about it. Help her to gauge how "big" of a deal things are, and when she reaches 100 points, take her out for a treat (Cold Stone or something). That will not only help her to see that not everything is a big deal, but it will help her look for the really good moments.

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